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Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S.

Google is finally settling a three-year investigation this week into a Wi-Fi incident that occurred when compiling data for its mapping service.

Google's Street View mapping cars had accidentally collected personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, between 2008 and 2010. The cars were out collecting images and data for the Street View mapping system in Google Maps, and were using an experimental computer code in the cars' software while doing so. This led to the accidental collection of personal data.

The settlement orders that Google split $7 million among 38 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, which were involved in the incident. Google also agreed to destroy all of this data collected in the U.S. (it's still working things out with European countries, where the same incident occurred).

Google will also deploy employee education programs that fill them in about user privacy, and will also launch a campaign about protecting information on wireless networks.

While Google has now been punished for its incident, some are not happy with the amount of the fine. For instance, Steve Pociask, the president of the American Consumer Institute, said that $7 million is nothing to a huge tech company like Google and likely won't ward off any further intrusions of privacy.

Google had a revenue of $50.2 billion in 2012 and $10.7 billion in net income.

Source: Reuters

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RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Nortel on 3/13/2013 11:46:12 AM , Rating: 1
Let me sit down and accidentally write code to:
collect personal data, such as home wireless network passwords, etc..

Yea, right... accidental.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Souka on 3/13/2013 12:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
How does one download a wireless network password?

Does download = hack to obtain the passcode?

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/13/2013 12:05:47 PM , Rating: 3
He is an idiot and obviously has no clue what he is talking about. Best just to ignore Nortroll.

RE: stealing wifi passwords?
By RufusM on 3/14/2013 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 1
Here's what happened as I understand it:

Google's code was designed to capture 250KB of data when it communicated with each WiFi router for the purposes of matching GPS coordinates with the WiFi location. In some cases, unsecured WiFi routers allowed them to capture some unsecured information such as passwords, emails, etc.

Google was ordered to destroy the captured information. They did then communicated it was completed, except it was later found that a Google engineer had kept a number of drive backups, so they really didn't comply with the data destruction order which is what got them the large fine.

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